When seated at your dinner table, if somebody looks at their phone rather than engage in conversation, how would you respond?
Bad phone etiquette is disrespectful, but occurs only too often. Given our subservience to digital devices, we need to protect the little in-person exchange we still have left.
A tactful means of doing this is to tell the detractor, ‘I see that you are on your phone. Is everything okay?’. The key here is to ask politely with genuine concern – there might be an emergency after all. In most cases, the person asked will mutter an excuse and stop using the phone.
Phubbing (phone + snubbing) is a new term that is finding its way into our vocabulary. If we value the few moments where we still attend to each other, let us give phubbing the same treatment we gave public smoking.